In a recent column I scribed over at Velonews, I discussed being able to take a moment and reflect on how uniquely beautiful New England is, especially during the vibrantly colorful fall months. During this farthest point on the calendar from budding spring, life throughout much of the rest of the country is slowly wilting, dying away, or slothfully thinking about heading into hibernation. Meanwhile New England produces an awesome display of shimmering color…
Enough of that waxing poetic stuff! You want sappy? Then go read Family Circus.
In that post, I also happen to allude to the fact that I had fifteen minutes of restfulness before restlessness set in. Let’s delve into a somewhat typical day over the course of the past month. Hold onto your pantaloons my friends, because there’s no rest for the weary!
This particular day was a Thursday and it begins with me spryly leaping out of bed to brew up some coffee. No exaggeration whatsoever, coffee still brings enormous joy to the start of my day. The routine of it all – grinding the beans, deciding and executing the method of brew (French press, standard drip machine, espresso… maybe cutting straight to the chase and eating the beans), impatiently waiting for the good stuff while mindlessly doing something else – yeaap, it’s the routine of making coffee that makes me as happy as anything else. Okay sure, drinking seems to provide me with a buzz as well, but truly there is something wonderfully calming and reassuring in the process of making of the coffee. LOVE.
Now properly en route to caffeination, it’s probably a hair after 7am. Perhaps needless to say, I’m an early riser. While not necessarily into an obsolete taxon used by Carolus Linnaeus and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck for all non-arthropod invertebrate animals per se, the early bird gets the worm.
I’m trying to hone Italian, or maybe learn is a better word, so the next forty five minutes is occupied by keenly studying Rosetta Stone. With my Italian now coming along bene, and while still on the computer I’ll tackle the one to one-hundred emails filling my inbox. Some fun, some back and forth banter, and some downright business related. You can use your imagination and fill in details there.
With the clock ticking towards 9am, it’s time to get some exercise. I’m a new user of the TRX so with a brief joggy mcjog and then some dynamic, plyometric-style movements to funky beats in the garage, I’m feeling strong and nimble in no time!
Despite being merely mid-morning, it’s never too early to be thinking about dinner. It the freakin’ off season after all, so indulging in some fine foods is the only way to go. Tonight’s dinner is pulled pork, which doesn’t take all that much effort, but is a long, low-heat, braising style process that takes some decent foresight. Sugar and spice and everything nice plus one pork butt later, that was in the oven and it’s now time to whip out a two hour ride.
Continuing to ride first-class on the productivity train, my two hour ride includes a swing by the post office and the bank. One delivery, one bank deposit, and about thirty riding minutes later, I then visit the LBS to discuss the impending cyclocross race that will be both excellent and awesome. As it turns out, carbon tubular wheels are a helpful addition to one’s quiver of bicycles especially in a ‘cross race, so very unworthy but quite unbegrudgingly, I accept a pair of carbon wheels and spend the next half hour critiquing the installation technique of said wheels (mind you, I have no installation technique myself, so whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it better than I ever would).
From here, it’s a fifteen minute sprint home followed by an hour on the lawn mower. I’ll remind you of these gems just to assure you that I am both a) safe and b) a prolific lawn mowerer. As any tried and true New Englander knows, autumn is beautiful with it’s majestic swath of colors (yup, I just said that) but it’s also the backbreaking time to rake, pick up, and mulch leaves. I opted for the third of these methods and therefore spent an hour on this particular fine day making a powder out of freshly fallen leaves. This was preceded by some more ’round the house work for Mom and Dad with a solid twenty minutes using the blower to shuttle leaves off the deck, off the patio, and into TO-BE-MOWED territory.
By now it’s lunch time and a quick, delicious, and salad ensues. You might say that a salad isn’t nearly enough, but if you saw the size of the salad, you’d think I’m serving a family of four. Nay, this is for a voracious eater of one, namely me. I also house a can of sardines, which are delicious and bursting with omega fatty acids. Being home and in the kitchen, I’m now able to tend to my pulled pork – which means the laborious three second task of flipping it over – and then head out the door to run more errands. A separate visit to a bike shop, back to the original LBS to pick up my tubies, and a swing through the grocery store. Next I meet a friend at a coffee shop where I briefly consider having a cup of decaf, but then right my ways and have a real cuppacoffee. It’s good to catch up for a bit before it’s time to head home.
With family friends on their way for dinner, I’m asked to make a dessert. Impressively, these friends are coming with the goal of making dinner for us (now that’s service!) so the pulled pork will come out of the oven but continue to steep in its own delicious and spicy juices for dinner tomorrow night. So I whip up the most amazing batch of homemade brownies that I’ve ever eaten with the secret ingredients being dark chocolate chips and about 3/4 teaspoons of cinnamon. Do it. DO IT.
While that’s baking away, I hack out a dozen emails, and then FINALLY have a bit of time to relaaaaaaaax. Nice glass of wine, kick it with the family, hang with these good family friends, and then enjoy an incredible cioppino dinner created by the fam’ friends who began their day in Maine including plucking fresh Maine mussels from within the shallow depths of the Atlantic Ocean. Wow.
And yes, that was complimented by decadent dark chocolate spice brownies.
So there you have it, youarenotTedKings of the world. Welcome to a day in the life of yours truly. Maybe interesting or maybe not, but it goes to show that we cyclists are more than a one-dimensional strictly bike racer type. Or else that idle hands make the Devil’s work, so I may as well stay busy.